Clovis Residents Will Vote If They Want To Pay Second Highest Sales Tax Rate in CA

January 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Even though everyone is financially strapped Clovis fire and police think they have enough support to pass this tax.But one city leader said right now a new tax is too much.

Saturday morning Clovis police officer John Paul hit the streets-going door to door- gathering support for a new sales tax that promises to "Keep Clovis Safe."

Support for the one-cent sales tax increase begins here at Measure A headquarters. So far several thousand registered voters have told operations director Fred Fuchs they support the idea.

"There's a way of life here in Clovis and folks appreciate that and if they want to keep that they're gonna have to come up with a little bit more money," said Fuchs.

Money police plan to use to fill 15 vacancies and spread out the work load.

"It cuts into our ability to go out and do proactive regular patrol: traffic enforcement etc. it also means we're slower to get out to calls," said Officer Drew Mosher.

Officials with the fire department said they face slow response times too.

"We're pushing the envelope of not meeting our goal of 5 minutes or less in our response time. We're at that bubble," said firefighter Gary Sawhill.

While supporters of measure A claim the money will greatly benefit the fire department and police department the Mayor of Clovis, Bob Whalen, said 'not so fast.' He's concerned there's nothing to guarantee the money will make it to these two departments

"And there is no monies that are designated for police and fire however it is all designated for the discretion of the city council how it is we choose to spend it," said Whalen.

Whalen worries the money will land in the general fund and be used for other city projects. But the Mayor worries more about the tax payer hurting in the wallet.

"And that is a mark I do not want on Clovis. It's gonna drive businesses away, it's gonna drive shoppers away and that's gonna mean jobs that are gonna be lost," said the Mayor.

The vote on this measure is March 3rd. If it is passed it will raise the sales tax to 8.975% making it the second highest tax rate in California behind Southgate in Los Angeles county. Their rate is 9.25%.

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